Share some advice for those with social anxiety?

by Apophany

Apophany
Member
Kohai
Posts: 101
Threads: 6
Joined: May 2016
Reputation: 1
05-05-2016, 11:59 PM
#40870 (1)
I know in any given place like this, there's at least a dozen people who struggle with social anxiety, disinclination or impairment. I do myself, and to a degree that I'm not really functional, so I'm curious to hear what methods and exercises have helped you or someone you know improve.

One thing I can share for those of you with problems speaking around strangers is Skype calls with online friends. A while ago I started practicing with someone I'm more or less comfortable around but have never met in-person, and it's helped a lot so far. Within about 4 or 5 sessions, I went from being unable to utter a single word to being able to talk almost completely freely. I still can't talk to strangers or even my boyfriend but I can safely say it's a step in the right direction.
matt
Unregistered
 
05-06-2016, 12:08 AM
#40871 (2)
I do not suffer from social anxiety anymore, but I used to. For as long as I can remember, I was always paranoid when I saw people talking at far distances because I had always assumed that they were talking about me in a negative manner. This was not so bad in smaller crowds, but when I was around large crowds, it was extremely dreadful. When I was 16, I finally got tired of it. I slowly but surely moved out of my comfort zone. I made friends and went out more. Eventually, it all got better.

tl;dr force yourself to be social, and the anxiety will disappear over time. Do what makes you uncomfortable at a safe yet efficient pace.
[+] 2 users love matt's post
Derfy
Member
Kohai
Posts: 104
Threads: 2
Joined: Apr 2016
Reputation: 4
05-06-2016, 02:18 PM
#40886 (3)
I have always struggled with this since I was 14 years old. I have been pretty shitty at dealing and coping with it. I eventually lost some of it once I started making more friends on Steam games and WoW. In real social situations it started to get better when I got envolved with the druggies at my school but that only helped in the short term. 18-21 were the worst years of social anxiety and depression after my girlfriend broke up with me. At somepoint enough was enough and I started reading self help books and books on the topic of anxiety. What helps me is just staying hydrated sitting and standing with good posture smiling and breathing deep and slow when I start to get anxious. For me it just comes down to reminding myself that I like myself and that's all that matters and interacting with everyone even if it feels awkward. I still have a long way to go but I am way better than I used to be.
Apophany
Member
Kohai
Posts: 101
Threads: 6
Joined: May 2016
Reputation: 1
05-06-2016, 02:59 PM
#40889 (4)
(05-06-2016, 02:18 PM)Derfy Wrote: I have always struggled with this since I was 14 years old. I have been pretty shitty at dealing and coping with it.  I eventually lost some of it once I started making more friends on Steam games and WoW.  In real social situations it started to get better when I got envolved with the druggies at my school but that only helped in the short term. 18-21 were the worst years of social anxiety and depression after my girlfriend broke up with me. At somepoint enough was enough and I started reading self help books and books on the topic of anxiety. What helps me is just staying hydrated sitting and standing with good posture smiling and breathing deep and slow when I start to get anxious. For me it just comes down to reminding myself that I like myself and that's all that matters and interacting with everyone even if it feels awkward. I still have a long way to go but I am way better than I used to be.

Do you remember what book in particular was most helpful? I'm open to reading something as long as it's not bogus Oprah magazine advice.
moeki
Unique
Posts: 304
Threads: 9
Joined: Dec 2015
Reputation: 8
05-06-2016, 03:05 PM
#40890 (5)
i wish i could share advice for this! i can't really deal with my anxiety a lot of the time to the point where it's affecting a lot of my friendships and relationships. honestly, the only thing that helps is the fact that some of my friends are patient and understanding enough to deal with it and not leave. um, i think what has helped me become better at social things is having found this place, as well as having found a small group of people that put on small private concerts where i live. tight-knit communities are good for connecting with people whereas large ones where no one knows each other only help to make you feel isolated and feel like you're never going to get anywhere. so, um, this forum has helped me! sorry i can't be a better help here! <3

[Image: 68747470733a2f2f752e706f6d662e69732f7071...6a2e676966]
[+] 3 users love moeki's post
shoecotton
Junior Member
Kohai
Posts: 11
Threads: 1
Joined: Apr 2016
Reputation: 0
05-07-2016, 11:30 AM
#40915 (6)
I'm probably guilty. Not sure about anxiety but impairment/disinclination probably. Except with family.

I can talk to people fine if needed but in social situations I'm more of a listener than a talker, since I don't make small talk. I tend to type far more words online than speak to other people. And I don't have many close friends IRL.

I don't really worry about how strangers or other people think of me since I try to be civil so there's that. If you can't be sociable, be civil.
[+] 1 user loves shoecotton's post
Derfy
Member
Kohai
Posts: 104
Threads: 2
Joined: Apr 2016
Reputation: 4
05-07-2016, 11:40 AM
#40918 (7)
(05-07-2016, 11:30 AM)shoecotton Wrote: I'm probably guilty. Not sure about anxiety but impairment/disinclination probably. Except with family.

I can talk to people fine if needed but in social situations I'm more of a listener than a talker, since I don't make small talk. I tend to type far more words online than speak to other people. And I don't have many close friends IRL.

I don't really worry about how strangers or other people think of me since I try to be civil so there's that. If you can't be sociable, be civil.

Sounds exactly like me tbh I'm a diplomat of sorts.
pixelwitch
Will make waifus real
Music
Posts: 54
Threads: 2
Joined: Dec 2015
Reputation: 0
05-07-2016, 06:48 PM
#40929 (8)
Perhaps attempt to form a social group of like-minded people, but try to evade those with similar problems if you can, otherwise you'll just add to each others'. This will most certainly make talking to other people more tolerable, especially in the social group's presence. It's certainly fine to befriend others with social difficulties, but you won't be helping yourself if you make them your primary sources of interaction, I know this from experience.

I recently went on a night out drinking and was able to tolerate environments I would have otherwise found unbearable, for this very reason. In fact, I found myself enjoying a loud and crowded bar, despite finding myself nauseated by a busy market/festival the prior year. That said, a far louder club had me wanting to escape.

If you really aren't in a position to have a social group, perhaps attempt boosting your social skills through interactions with family members you're comfortable with. Their presence ought to have a similar, but lesser, effect to the presence of a social group, and should allow you to acclimatize sufficiently to social contexts to allow you to find friends outside of your family.

My advice is purely from my own experience though, so it may not apply to you.
Miles
.
Loli
Posts: 52
Threads: 2
Joined: Dec 2015
Reputation: 0
06-09-2016, 10:20 PM
#42649 (9)
Realize that people aren't judging you and that you literally aren't even registered in their mind since you're part of the background to them.
It doesn't fix social anxiety, but it's the best method to cope that I've found so far. It works well if you don't mind being a loner.
[+] 2 users love Miles's post
VyraLove
Giving you Lewd Dreams <3
Kitsune
Posts: 95
Threads: 1
Joined: Jul 2015
Reputation: 6
06-09-2016, 10:32 PM
#42650 (10)
For those of you who struggle with social anxiety or anxiety in general, I suggest you read this: https://www.amazon.com/Anxiety-Ally-Turn...1_1&sr=8-1

It's got some good insight about how to deal with it.

[+] 1 user loves VyraLove's post
GloryBear
Junior Member
Kohai
Posts: 30
Threads: 1
Joined: Oct 2015
Reputation: 0
06-10-2016, 02:58 AM
#42657 (11)
honestly, I just talk to people online all the time and it's helped me a bit. Socializing on the internet isn't the same at all, but it is socializing, and has, at least in my case, helped a little. I used to be unable to say hello to anybody, I think that it's because of my non irl friends forcing me out of my shell the tiniest bit that I can now make small talk awkwardly with strangers.

[Image: 68747470733a2f2f6c68332e676f6f676c657573...672e6a7067]

And you don't seem to understand...
[+] 1 user loves GloryBear's post
tsuji
c'est la vie
Kohai
Posts: 21
Threads: 2
Joined: Jun 2016
Reputation: 0
06-10-2016, 01:18 PM
#42676 (12)
(06-09-2016, 10:20 PM)Miles Wrote: Realize that people aren't judging you and that you literally aren't even registered in their mind since you're part of the background to them.
It doesn't fix social anxiety, but it's the best method to cope that I've found so far. It works well if you don't mind being a loner.

Ya that's what happened to me i just started ignoring and doing my own thing and distancing myself form others. After a bit I no longer felt lonely being a loner for a time.

[Image: 687474703a2f2f7374617469632e74756d626c72...672e676966]
Backlash
Thread Necromancer
Nephilim
Posts: 1,005
Threads: 33
Joined: Oct 2015
Reputation: 15
06-10-2016, 02:01 PM
#42677 (13)
(06-10-2016, 02:58 AM)GloryBear Wrote: honestly, I just talk to people online all the time and it's helped me a bit. Socializing on the internet isn't the same at all, but it is socializing, and has, at least in my case, helped a little. I used to be unable to say hello to anybody, I think that it's because of my non irl friends forcing me out of my shell the tiniest bit that I can now make small talk awkwardly with strangers.

This is honestly one of the reasons I hang around Lewd. I'm sick pretty often, it doesn't help that most of my friends can barely even hold a conversation. If I wasn't so practiced at opening people up, they'd spend every dinner and get-together completely silent. Believe me, I've been there. It ain't fun. -.-;

Kyoko.AVNo
凶子
Kohai
Posts: 54
Threads: 3
Joined: Apr 2016
Reputation: 1
06-17-2016, 11:27 PM (This post was last modified: 06-17-2016, 11:32 PM by Kyoko.AVNo.)
#43100 (14)
I used to struggle with social anxiety quite a lot, chiefly when having to interact with strangers.  Over time, I've gotten to where I can speak freely and confidently with groups of maybe up to six to ten loose acquaintances at a time?  Were they all people I knew well, I could theoretically address even more.

All bets are off, though, for very large crowds; I had to give a speech in front of my whole school once, and while I apparently did a good job with it, I was so thoroughly depersonalized that I barely remember it at all.  Cold-calling strangers on the phone is still rather difficult for me to do as well, no matter how many times I assure myself that the conversation will be professionally civil at worst.

As for advice, perhaps it'd help to think of socializing as just a bunch of rules that you have to memorize and then follow when they become relevant to the situation at hand.  It's less complicated than it seems; for an analogy, think of a social interaction as writing a letter.  You usually start and end it with certain phrases that are implicitly understood as being the "appropriate" things to say ("Dear Such-and-such" --> "Yours Truly, So-and-so" vs "Hello, how are you?" --> "See you later!").  In between those two, you can say more or less whatever you want/need to say.

If the interaction calls for being polite, then make sure to sprinkle some "please"s and "thank you"s into the mix.  Additionally, you could couch whatever it is that you want as being more of a question or hypothetical than a command (e.g. "Would I be able to take off this Friday?" instead of "I want to have a day off this Friday."), since that demonstrates thoughtfulness and consideration rather than selfishness.  Also, if you're unwilling to do something that someone else wants, rather than outright telling them no, it's better social form to give an excuse cushioned by an apology (e.g. "Ah, sorry, I've already got plans that weekend." instead of "No, I don't want to spend my weekend with you.").  Perhaps you already knew all of that, though.

One way or another, learning how to socialize "normally" is simply a matter of figuring out all of those implicit understandings I mentioned about how interactions are typically expected to progress.  The best way to do that is to socialize with others more often, as others in the thread have suggested.

Les jeux sont faits. Nous sommes fucked.
[+] 2 users love Kyoko.AVNo's post
Nodoudt
Happy To Be Here
Kohai
Posts: 34
Threads: 2
Joined: Jun 2016
Reputation: 1
06-21-2016, 02:35 AM (This post was last modified: 06-21-2016, 02:38 AM by Nodoudt.)
#43175 (15)
TL;DR - Find someplace you like that's frequented by lots of people, and learn to by comfortable around them by gradually interacting within that environment!

I work at a cafe, and I recall one time in particular when a frequent customer personally (and quite suddenly) thanked us for helping them overcome their severe social anxiety over the course of a year or two. Essentially, what happened was they mustered up the courage to come in and order a drink, and simply pass the time being surrounded by other people - as we never pressure anyone to leave the store, regardless of how long they've been there. They eventually moved up to making small talk while waiting for their drink, and the occasional passing comment to other customers. We never thought they were creepy or out of place, something I'm almost certain they fretted over themselves. In the end, they found comfort and acceptance as a regular customer, someone who was known by name and accepted by both staff and other customers, and told us that their people-skills improved significantly just from chatting and finding themselves in a comfortable environment.

To be honest, I think what helped was the fact that there were always different people nearly every time they visited - or more importantly, complete strangers. I'm always amazed by how much people I've never met before are willing to share with me over a fresly-made latte. I think if you put yourself in an enviroment that has people you're familiar with, that's just more pressure to not seem out of place because they'll associate you with that kind of behavior.

At least if you stumble while improving you social sea-legs in a crowded space, you can just as easily disappear back into the crowd without any consequences.

It probably seems like odd advice, but I do hope it helps some.

- Nodoudt
[+] 3 users love Nodoudt's post
Aezeles
Junior Member
Kohai
Posts: 21
Threads: 3
Joined: Jan 2016
Reputation: 0
07-23-2016, 01:41 AM
#44550 (16)
Mine's so bad i have issues talking on mmorpgs. And making friends on there. Working on that
[+] 1 user loves Aezeles's post
Apophany
Member
Kohai
Posts: 101
Threads: 6
Joined: May 2016
Reputation: 1
07-23-2016, 11:14 AM (This post was last modified: 07-23-2016, 11:16 AM by Apophany.)
#44573 (17)
(07-23-2016, 01:41 AM)Aezeles Wrote: Mine's so bad i have issues talking on mmorpgs. And making friends on there. Working on that


That's about where I was when I started this thread, and I've already come so far just in the 2 months since then, so don't give up! The most important thing to remember is to keep steadily pushing the edges of your comfort zone. Don't let yourself stagnate or fall into complete avoidance of other people, or it will only get worse.

Something that helps keep you on track is working with a friend who's willing to give you a little push every now and then when you need it. My boyfriend used to call me on Skype unexpectedly and without warning to challenge me to say things, and while it was scary to have him push my limits like that, in retrospect it really helped. I went very quickly from not even picking up to being able to at least say hello.

If you have trouble making friends, you might start with having one of yours introduce you to a group of their online friends and have a group conversation on Skype. That way they aren't complete strangers and you at least know them indirectly. Challenge yourself to say at least one word at a time until you become comfortable enough to try more engaging conversation. If you can't bring yourself to speak, try text first. Most people I've met are surprisingly patient with shyness and anxiety, so don't be too quick to assume you're burdening them.
[+] 2 users love Apophany's post
Em.
Verified Shitlord
Music
Posts: 216
Threads: 3
Joined: Sep 2015
Reputation: 4
07-23-2016, 04:36 PM
#44591 (18)
It's like anything else:

Practice.

Most people understand if you struggle with social situations, those who do not aren't even worth the time to feel bad about emberrassing yourself around.

Go and meet people, spark random conversations and you'll get better and better. Don't shy away from people because you're afraid that they won't like - they won't even have a chance to like you if you never interact with them.

Practice, trust me on this one!
Paarthurnax
Nya-Pantsuuh
Kohai
Posts: 28
Threads: 3
Joined: Jun 2016
Reputation: 1
07-23-2016, 07:48 PM (This post was last modified: 07-23-2016, 07:50 PM by Paarthurnax.)
#44605 (19)
I have no idea why, put I get panic talking in real life but I am known to social engineer people and companies etc in the later years and so on. So talking over the internet is normal for me or atleast in a more advanced level.

I can keep my cool and so on but in real life I get really like judgemental. I judge every action a person takes ( If a new person I meet) to wonder which action I am supposed to do towards them to make them neutral/friend-ish against me.
BUT DO NOT forget the " Keep the conversation going " type. Oh my god. That is my lowest. I can not keep a conversation going.

Then there is this awkward moment when they ask you " So what hobbies do you have and what do you like to do " smiling. Well, that is another problem.

Edit: Just remembered, if I have an option to avoid new people I will go to lengths that are too far. 

halp.
Internet ftw

  pomfe.co -Free anonymous file uploading site    nyanpasu.tv - Anime streaming [ALPHA] 
xet
big ol' test
Kohai
Posts: 3
Threads: 0
Joined: Jun 2016
Reputation: 0
07-24-2016, 04:51 AM (This post was last modified: 07-24-2016, 04:53 AM by xet.)
#44627 (20)
I used to suffer from pretty strong social anxiety. Occasionally it flares up, but what worked for me was indulging in a bunch of hobbies.

I've been making music for many years, and I also enjoy the theatre community as well as all types of artful mediums (film, music, anime, visual novels, video games, and I'm finally starting to dabble in literature). As a result of spending a lot of time in each of these areas, I've become able to have a conversation with most people and find at least something that we can connect over. Most of the things I go out to are local gigs and university events, and there are surprisingly a lot of chill people. I usually have to get a little bit drunk at first (two beers is my go-to) to get over the initial snaggles of conversation, but once I've got a nice little buzz going I can talk to anyone for hours and it seems to go over well. Bars are fantastic for this, not only because the point of going to it is to drink, but you're expected to be socializing with people that you don't know. On days when I feel more anxious than usual, people usually end up coming up to me to talk to me, and on other days when I feel a bit more daring, I pick someone in the room that seems intimidating and say hello. Gigs are also fantastic for meeting people, because musicians are typically very friendly people, and on the plus side you get to hear some great tunes.

To sum it up, pick up some hobbies and find things that you're absolutely passionate about, and then go out and meet people with similar interests. It's a bit difficult at first, like fumbling through the dark, but over time as you develop into a more well-rounded person with more experience and knowledge about the world, it starts to get easier and easier. Eventually, you'll have no problem at all with socializing. Make sure that you continually challenge yourself, and when confronted with something where you get so anxious that you say "I can't do this", you should be actively thinking "okay, what are logical smaller steps that I can take to build myself up to the point of saying 'I can do this'?". As you do this, you will meet other people with similar interests and make friends and it will become easier to socialize because you'll be able to do it with a group of people that you feel comfortable around.
cyka
ПОШЕЛ НАХУЙ
Banned
Posts: 33
Threads: 3
Joined: Jul 2016
07-24-2016, 11:41 PM
#44655 (21)
just b urself dude lmao :-)
Inkjet Printer
How does this work?
Banned
Posts: 810
Threads: 20
Joined: Sep 2015
07-25-2016, 09:06 AM
#44681 (22)
If you suffer from social anxiety, get a life.

Seriously though you might wanna explore some new hobbies and stuff.
mrjunge
Loli Butt Enthusiast
Loli
Posts: 24
Threads: 1
Joined: Jul 2016
Reputation: 0
07-31-2016, 10:18 PM (This post was last modified: 07-31-2016, 10:22 PM by mrjunge.)
#45257 (23)
To cut the long story short, it pretty much took other very persistent and socially oblivious people to cut through my shell, first, and then, on my end, getting through my social anxiety required exposing myself to social situations, especially ones where I would need to exhibit at least some amount of initiative. Having a few close friends is great so you can rebound. Its very easy to relapse right after you do the whole self-exposure thing because then you're alone again with a chance of ruminating on what you could've possibly failed at in the interaction you attempted. That's normal, though, especially at the beginning; don't let your own thoughts discourage your efforts. Think about how you might be perceiving things through a skewed perspective, and decide to give it another try. Eventually things will get better.

I would say the most difficult part is identifying what part of it is actually your social anxiety and what part of it is just your desire for solitude, because its easy to mix them up. I had SA *and* am an introvert, and it was hell'ah difficult to distinguish when I was generally interested in being alone and when I was just avoiding what I had to deal with while being around people. But when it starts to feel easier to tell the two apart, I'd say that's when you hit the sweet spot and have made a significant stride in your SA. Now-a-days I've started to realize I'm just not the kind of person to initiate social interaction--at least not until after an extended period of time in "observer" mode. So I've taken to focusing on what I do when someone approaches me instead (and only occasionally on changing it up a bit anyway). Also, use your SA as an opportunity to double-down on hobbies, especially ones that potentially grow your knowledge or skill at something. It not only potentially makes you more interesting than you already are as well as potentially crafts niche communities you can rebound from, but it also gives you confidence in yourself independently of whether you think you're "good" at socializing or not. And ironically, not caring about that (as a measure of self-worth) is a good component to getting through SA, I'd say. Everybody's different in the way their anxiety acts up, though, so you'll also have to find your own path.
based_bluetawn
Junior Member
Kohai
Posts: 38
Threads: 0
Joined: Sep 2015
Reputation: 0
09-11-2016, 04:41 PM (This post was last modified: 09-11-2016, 04:43 PM by based_bluetawn.)
#46607 (24)
Try amphetamines like methamphetamine or adderal (which is identical), don't smoke them, snort or eat and don't use more than you have to because they are fun and tempting, don't redose, yes, meth causes dopamine system damage, regular amphetamines do not.

I learned more from a couple uses of amphetamines than I did in a college class on public speaking (though it did help).

I went from socially anxious to an extremely nerfed anxiety response.

That's my experience, don't take it as truth. Playing with drugs is a dangerous game.
malmon
nya?
Torrents
Posts: 1,109
Threads: 18
Joined: Nov 2015
Reputation: 12
09-11-2016, 04:47 PM
#46609 (25)
(09-11-2016, 04:41 PM)based_bluetawn Wrote: Try amphetamines like methamphetamine or adderal (which is identical), don't smoke them, snort or eat and don't use more than you have to because they are fun and tempting, don't redose, yes, meth causes dopamine system damage, regular amphetamines do not.

I learned more from a couple uses of amphetamines than I did in a college class on public speaking (though it did help).

I went from socially anxious to an extremely nerfed anxiety response.

That's my experience, don't take it as truth. Playing with drugs is a dangerous game.

I personally don't really like any drugs. They tend to make me feel like shit.

[Image: 68747470733a2f2f752e6e79612e69732f77757466626d2e6a7067]